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significant, the biggest stumbling block on the road to the fiscal cliff, that difference between tax rates for the wealthiest americans. and what house democrats announced they're going to try to do is an end run around the house gop to try to file a petition in order to try to push a vote on the house floor to just raise taxes -- excuse me, to just extend the bush-era tax rates for middle class americans. but to do that, as you know, they need 218 votes and there's still a very sizable republican majority in the house. it will be difficult for democrats to do that. >> absolutely. and that proposal to take away what has been historically a congressional prerogative was a little bit surprising even to people who have been reading about this stuff for years. is it true though, dana, as it has been in past years that both sides at least have to show their bases that they're fighting the good fight and that's part of what's going on here? >> reporter: absolutely. there's no question about it. what i mention in the piece really is a real phenomenon here when it comes to the feeling among congre
this afternoon with brand-new republican offers to try to save the $2.2 trillion and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. the across-the-board spending cuts and sharp tax increases that hit in just 29 days. let's get straight to our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. she's watching what's going on. dana, the tax rates, first of all, let's get to a major sticking point right now. there's been a counterproposal from house republicans to the white house. you have details. >> reporter: that's right. let's start exactly where you just began on those tax rates because that has become the big divide between the two sides. the answer is the house republicans are not budging. they still want to continue the bush era tax rates at all income levels. let's get specific. first of all, the counterproposal, they say they would get about $800 billion in savings from what they call tax reform, from deductions and closing loopholes, things like that. but the bush era tax rates, all of them would remain, even for the wealthiest. to show you the difference, compared to the white house offer that they got l
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